Golden Rule Schools Address The Most Important Question: Are We Equal or Are We Not?
The core of every world problem comes from not treating each other as equals. Believing that others are not equal is the original source of domination and aggression. Adult presumption of inequality comes from relationships that adults have experienced during their early childhoods.
Brains “wire” themselves differently depending on whether they grow in dangerous or threatening environments or in peaceful and secure environments. Environments that create worry and fear are very limiting and oppressing to the brain’s growth, not to mention also being very emotionally painful.
If the child’s environment contains relationship models of domination and hierarchy (disrespect, yelling, or violence), that child’s brain, being an amazingly adaptive organ, will grow in ways that will specialize itself, chemically and structurally, for hostile or threatening environments, developing greater vigilance, greater suspicion, more self-protective perspectives and behaviors. The unfortunate side effect of this specialization is the disabling of the brain’s social capacity for trusting, peaceful, cooperative living.
Environments of safety, security, and love allow for full, healthy brain growth and development. This is not just true for some children. It is true for every single child. The ability to perceive and honor the equality of others—the essence of security– can be built into the very architecture of the brain in early childhood.
The Golden Rule is emotional and social education in a nutshell. It’s all about modeling and mentoring the practice of kindness and respect for all because we are all equal. This is what properly equips our growing children for life in a free, peaceful, and democratic society.
Learning to practice the Golden Rule is essential to becoming fully human and manifesting one’s full potential. It is literacy of the highest order, the most fundamental of essential basic education.